6 Tips for Writing Minor Characters

I’m sure most writers know how to craft a major character; they understand the importance of their leads and that they should occupy the most page space. Yet every story needs supporting characters. Today, it’s all about the minor players, those characters we see briefly and yet are so well written they’ll stick with us. …
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Assembly Required: Create an Ensemble Book Cast

Over the last year I’ve done a large number of posts on character archetypes; you can read some of those posts here. I write these posts because I’m obsessed with creating groups of coordinating and contrasting characters. Some of my favorite books, TV shows and movies combine characters to create an interconnected web of personalities. …
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Casting Call: Queens, The Archetype of Female Power

While I would argue that a woman can play any character, hero, villain, mentor, the Queen might be considered the most dynamic of the female archetypes. Queens are by nature powerful and public, making them ideal protagonists or antagonists. I had a hard time picking my top queens, but here are three of my favorites. …
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Casting Call: 3 Villains, It’s Good to be Bad

Villains come in as many shapes and sizes as their hero counterparts. The best pairs complement each other. The protagonist’s strengths and virtues contrast against the antagonist’s negative traits. When you take this relationship down to the most basic level, villains all want something and that something is going to cause havoc for the protagonist …
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Casting Call: 4 Archetypes of Lovers With Baggage

I’m taking a break this week from my Brain Triggers series and returning to the ever-popular Casting Call series. Today I have four characters, each selected from my strange bedfellows category. For the most part these characters fall into a romantic subgroup. Twisted though they may be, these common archetypes work for characters of either …
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Casting Call: 7 Sidekick Archetypes

Nothing elevates the quintessential protagonist like the perfect sidekick. These secondary characters help showcase the protagonist’s positive and negative traits by contrasting them against the sidekick’s own traits. The bond between these two characters is often a vulnerable relationship. Our good friends always know our darkest history, the secrets we never share with outsiders. At …
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Casting Call: 3 More Great Character Archetypes

As part of my ongoing posts on understanding character archetypes, here are my next three examples to study. Last week’s entry was for the Hero, the Leader and the Mentor, for those catching up, it might help to read that post first. The next three characters are predominantly used for the protagonist in a story; …
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